Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

This Legend is founded apon a tradition current in Northumberland. Indeed, an adventore nearly similar to Sir Guy's, is said to have taken place in various parts of Great Britain, particularly on the Pentland Hills in Scotland, (where the prisoners are supposed to be King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table,) and in Lancashire, where an ale-bouse near Chorley still exbibits the sign of a Sir John Stanley following an old man with a torch, wbile his horse starts back in terror at the objects which are discovered through two immense iron gates the ale house is known by the bame of the “ IRON GATES,” which are supposed to protect the entrance of an enebanted cavern in the neighbourhood-ihe female captive, we believe, is peculiar to Dunstanburgh Castle ; and certain shining stones, which are occasionally found in its neighbourhood, and which are called “ DUNSTANBURGH DIAMONDS,” are supposed by the peasants to form part of that immense treasure, with which the lady will reward her deliverer.-lo Wallis's “ History of the Antiquities of Northumber. land," the castle is described as follows :—" It stands on an eminence of several acres, sloping gently to the sea, and on the north and porth-west edged with precipices in the form of a crescent: by the western termination of which are three natural stope pyramids of a considerable height, and by the eastern one an opening in the rocks made by the sea, under a frightful precipice, called Ramble Churn, from the breaking of the waves in tempestuous weather and high seas. Above this is the main entrance, and by it the ruins of the chapel : at the south-west corner is the draw-well, partly álled up. It is built with rag and wbiustone."

LIKE those in the head of a man just dead Up the hill Sir Guy made his courser fly,

参会 Are his eyes, and his beard's like snow; And hoped, from the wiod and the rain But when here he came, his glance was a That he there should find some refuge kind, flame,

But he sought it long in vain. And his locks seemed the plumes of the crow.

For fast and hard each portał was barred,

And against his efforts proof;
Since then are o'er forty summers and more; Till at length he espied a porch spread wide
Yet be still near the castle remains,

The shelter of its roof.
Aud pines for a sight, of that lady bright,
Who wears the wizard's chains.

“ Gramercy, St. George !" quoth glad Sir

Guy,
Nor sun nor show from the ruins to go Aud sought the porch with speed;
Can force that aged wight;

And fast to the yew, which near it grew,
And still the pile, hall, chapel, and aisle, He bound bis Barbary steed.
He searches day and night.

And safety found on that sheltered ground But find can lie ne'er the wioding stair,

From the sky's increasing gloom, Which he past that beauty to see,

From his brow he took his casque, and he Whom spells enthrall in the haunted hall,

shook Where none but once may be.

The raiu off, that burthened its plume. That once regret will not let him forget - Then long be stood in mournful mood 'Twas night and pelting showers

With listless sullen air, Did patter and splash when the lightning's Propped on his lance, and with indolente flash

glance Showed Dunstanburgh's grey towers,

Watched the red lightning's glare.
Raised high on a mound that castle frowned And sadly listened to the shower,
In ruined pagean-trie;

On the clattering roof that fell ;
And where to the north did rocks jut forth, And counted twice the lonely hour,
Its towers hung o'er the sea.

Tolled by some distant bell, Proud they stood and darkened the flood;

But scarce that bell could midnight tell, For the cliffs were so rugged and steep,

When louder roared the thunder, Had a plummet been dropt from their sum

And the bolt so red whizzed by his head, mit unstopped

And burst the gates asuuder. That plummet had reached the deep.

And lo! through the dark a glimmering

spark Nor flower there grew; nor tree e'er drew

He espied of lurid-blue; Its purture from that ground,

Onward it came, aud a forin all flame Save a lonely yew whose branches threw,

Soon struck his wondering view. Their baleful shade around.

"Twas an ancient man of visage wan, Loud was the roar on that sounding shore; Gigantic was his height; Yet still could the knight discern,

And his breast below there was seen to flow Louder than all, the s well and the fall

A beard of grizzled whice. of the bellowing Rumble Churn!

And flames o'erspread his hairless head, With a strange turmoil did it bubble and

And down bis beard they streamed; boil,

And in his band a radiant wand And echo from place to place;

Of burning iron gleamed. So strong was its dash, and so bigh did it

Of darkest grain, with flowing train, splash,

A wond'rous robe be wore, That it washed the castle's base.

With many a charm to work man's harm

In fire embroidered o'er.
The spray as it broke appeared like smoke
From a sea-volcano pouring ;

And this robe was bound his waist around And still it did rumble, and grumble, and With a triple chain red-hottumble,

And still came nigher that phantom of fire Rioting ! ragiog! roaring!

Till he reached the self-same spot.

Where stood Sir Guy, while his hair bristled

bigh, And his breath he scarce conld draw; And he crost his breast, for I wot, he guest

'Twas Belzebub's self that he saw!,

And full op the knight that glastly wight

Fixed his green and glassy eyes; And he clanked his chain, and he bowled

with pain, Ere bis words were heard to rise.

“ Sir Knight, Sir Knight! if your heart be

right, And your perves be firm and true, Sir Knight, Sir Knight! a beauty bright la durance waits for you.

" But Sir Koight, Sir Knight! if you ever

knew fright, That dame forbear to view; Or Sir Knight, Sir Knight! that you feasted

your sight, While you live, you'll surely rue!"

That mortal ne'er drew vital air, Who witnessed fear in me : Come what come will, come good come ill, Lead on! I'll follow thee !

And now they go both high and low,

Above and under ground,
And in and out, and about and about,

Aud round, and round, and round!
The storm is hushed, and lets them hear

The owlet's boding screech,
As now through many a passage drear

A winding stair they reach.
With beckoning hand, which iamed like a

brand, Still on the wizard led ; And well could Sir Guy hear a sob and a

sigh, As up the first flight he sped! While the second he past with footsteps fast

He beard a death bell toll! While he climbed the third, a whisper he

beard, "God's mercy on thy soul!" And now at the top the wanderers stop A brazen gate before Of massive make; and a living snake

Was the bolt, which held the door. in many a fold round the staple 'twas rolled With venom its jaws ran o'er ; And that juice of bell, wherever it fell, To a cinder burned the floor.

When the monster beheld Sir Guy, be

swelled With fury, and threw out his sting; Sparks flashed from each eye, and he reared

him on high, And prepared on the warrior to spring. But the wizard's hand extended his wand

And the reptile drooped his crest, Yet strove to bite in impotent spite

The ground which gave him rest!

And now the gate is heard to grate,

On its hinges torning slow; Till on either side the valves yawa wide,

And in the wanderers go.

'Twas a spacious hall, whose sides were all

With sable hangings dight; And whose echoing floor was diamondedo'er

With marble black and white.

And of marble black as the raven's bask

A hundred steeds stood round;
And of marble white by each a knight

Lay sleeping on the ground.

And a hundred shafts of laboured brouze

The fretted roof upheld;
And the ponderous gloom of that vaulted

room
A hundred lights dispelled.

And a dead man's arm by a magic charm

Each glimmering taper bore, And where it was lopp'd, still dropp'd and

dropp'd Thick gouts of clotted gore.

Where ends the room, doth a chrystal tomb

Its towering front uphold ;
And on each hand two skeletous stand,

Which belonged to two giants of old.

That on the right holds a faulchion bright,

That on the left a horn ;
And crowns of jet with jewels beset

Their eyeless skulls adorn.

And both these grim colossal kings

With fingers long and lean Point tow'rds the tomb, within whose womub

A captive dame is seei.

A form more fair than that prisoner's, ne'ér

Since the days of Eve were knowo ; Every glance that few from her eyes of

blue, Was worth an emperor's throne, And one sweet kiss from her roseate lips

Would have melted a bosom of stone.

lose ;

« But such keen woe, as never can know

Oblivion's balmy power,
With fixed despair your soul will share,

Till comes your dying hour. « Your choice now make for yon beauty's

sake; To burst her bonds endeavour; But that wbich you choose, beware how you

Once lost, 'tis lost for ever!"In pepsive mood awhile now stood

Sir Guy, and gazed around; Now he turned his sight to the left, to the

right, Now he fixed it on the ground. Now the faulchion's blaze attracted his gaze

On the hilt his fingers lay; But he heard fear crg_"You're wrong, “ Now shame on the coward who sounded

Soon as Sir Guy had met her eye,

Knelt low that captive maid;
And her lips of love seemed fast to move,

But be heard not what she said.

Then her hands did she join in suppliant

siga, Her hands more white than snow; And like dews that streak the rose's cheek,

Her tears began to flow.

The warrior felt his stout heart melt,

When he saw those fountains run: « Oh! wbat can I do," he cried," for you?

What mortal cap do shall be done!"

Then out and speaks the wizard ;

Hollow his accents fall! “ Was never man, since the world began,

Could burst that chrystal wall, .

“For the hand which raised its magic frame

· Had oft clasped Satan's own ; And the lid bears a pamer -Young Knight

the same Is stamped on Satan's throne;

“ At it's maker's birth long trembled the

earth;

The skies dropp'a showers of gore;
And she, who to light gave the wonderous

wight,
Had died seven years before;

Sir Guy!"-
And be snatched his hand away!
Now bis steps he address'd tow'rd the

North and the West ;
Now he turned tow'rds the East ayd the

South :
Till with desperate thongbt the horn be

caught,
And press'd it to tris mouth.
Hark! the blast is a blast so stroug and so

sbrill, That the vaults like thunder ring ; And each marble horse stamps the floor

with force,
And from sleep the warriors spring!
And frightful stares each stoney eye,

As now with ponderous tread
They rush on Sir Guy, poising on high

Their spears to strike him dead.
At this strange attack full swift sprang back

I wot, the startled knight!
Away he threw the horn, and drew

His faulchion keen and bright.
But soon as the horo his grasp forsook,

Was heard a cry of grief;
It seemed the yell of a soul io hell

Made desperate of relief!
And straight each light was extinguished

quite,
Save the flame so Jurid blue
On the wizard's brow, (whose flashings now

Assumed a bloody bue,)
And those sparks of Gre, which grief and ire

From his glaring eye-balls drew !
And he stamped in rage, and he laughed

in scorn,
While in thundering tone he roared,

“ And at Satan's right hand while keeping

his stand, The foulest fiend of fire Shrunk back with awe, when the babe he

saw, For it shocked its very sire!

“ But hark, Sir Knight! and riddle aright

The riddle I'll riddle to thee : Thou'lt learn a way without delay

To set yon damsel free.

See'st yonder sword, with jewels rare,

Its dudgeon crasted oʻer?
See'st yonder horn of ivory fair ?

'Twas Merlin's born of yore!

« That horn to sound, or sword to draw,

Now, youth, your choice explain ;
But that which you choose, beware how you

lose,
For you never will find it again :

« And that once lost, all hopes are crost,

Which now you fondly form ;
And that once gone, the sun ne'er shone

sadder wight to warm ;

a horn, When he might have unsbeathed a

sword!"

Whence the neighbours all the knight now

call By“ Guy, the Seeker's" pame;. For never he knows one hour's repose

From bis wish to find the dame.

[ocr errors]

He said, and from his mouth there came

A vapour blue and dank, Whose poisonous breath seemed the kiss

of death,
For the warrior senseless sank.
Morning breaks! again he wakes ;

Lo! in the porch he lies,
And still in his heart he feels the dart,

Whicb shot from tbe captive's eyes. From the ground he springs ! as if he had

wings, The ruin he wanders o'er,. And with prying look each cranny and nook

His anxious eyes explore.
Bat find can be ne'er the winding stair,

Which he climbed that dame to see, Whom spells enthrall in the baunted hall,

Where none but once may be.
The earliest ray of dawning day

Beholds bis search begun;
The evening star ascends her car,

Nor yet his search is done.

But still he seeks,,and aye he seeks,

And seeks, and seeks in vain ; Aud still he repeats to all he meets,

“ Could I find the sword again !" Which words he follows with a groan,.

As if bis heart would break; And oh! that groan bas so strange a tone,

It makes all bearers quake! The villagers round know well its sound,

MILES COLVINE, THE CUMBERLAND MARINER.

A Tale of the English Coast.

William Glen was our captain's name,
He was a brisk and a bold young man,
As brave a sailor as e'er went to sea,
And he was bound for New Barbarie.
The first of April we spread our sail
To a low, a sweet, and a pleasant gale;
But we had not sail'd more leagues than two,
Till the sky grew dark and the tempest blew,
The lightning flash'd, and loud roar'd the sea,
As we were bound for New Barbarie.

And when they hear it poured, “ Hark! hark!” they cry, “the Seeker Guy

Groans for the wizard's sword." Twice twenty springs on their fragrant

wings For his wound have brought no balm; For still he's found. But hark! what

sound Disturbs the midnight calm ? Good peasants tell, why rings that knell ?

“ 'Tis the Seeker-Guy's we toll: “ His race is run; bis search is done."

God's mercy on his soul !

Old Ballad.

On the English side of the sea of tion, namely, the cottage of Miles ColSolway lies a long line of fat and un vine, the Cumberland mariner. The elevated coast, where the sea-fowl find owner of this rude dwelling, 'once a refuge from the gun of the fowler, and seaman, a soldier, a scholar, and a genwhich, save the head-land and the deep tleman, was shipwrecked on the coast Sea, presents but one object of attrac- about thirty years ago, and was the

« VorigeDoorgaan »